Agència per a la Qualitat del Sistema Universitari de Catalunya

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The main objective of the study titled "Programmes and qualifications in Catalonia: alignment with the European Higher Education Area" is to provide for a descriptive analysis through a comparison of the scenarios prior and subsequent to the adaptation and full alignment of all recognised study programmes and qualifications within the framework of the Bologna process. The overall aim is to obtain a more in-depth understanding and present-time diagnosis of higher education and the university system in Catalonia in terms of the different fields of study (disciplines) and gender.

As a way of contextualising the analysis, the objectives for higher education at European level laid down in the Education and Training 2010 and 2020 strategic frameworks were used as benchmarks, together with descriptive data on the social context.

The main issues that the study focuses on are:

  • A descriptive analysis of how the introduction of Bachelor degrees has affected the provision of degree programmes.
  • Characterization of the student profile according to field of study and gender, age and social background in the choice of a study programme.
  • Analysis of the delivery of undergraduate (Bachelor's) and Master's programmes: mobility, credit pass/completion, drop-out and pass rates.
  • Description of the academic staff (teaching and research) and administrative and service staff.
  • Graduate employability according to field of study and gender.

The study is based on data and figures from UNEIX, IDESCAT, INE and the survey and study on graduate employment outcomes by AQU Catalunya.

The opening chapters cover an analysis of the background data on the levels of education of the population and the rates of unemployment and employability.

Graph 1: Level of education of the population in Catalonia in 2014

Nivell d'instrucció de la població a Catalunya el 2014


An analysis is also made of the impact of a regulatory framework that gives greater autonomy to institutions in programme design on the kind of programmes being offered.

Graph 2: Trend in the number of undergraduate degree programmes at institutions in Catalonia according to field of study

Evolució de nombre de graus del SUC per àmbit de coneixement

Source: UNEIX

This is followed by an analysis of the demand for provision and the credit pass/completion rate, with a description, on the one hand, of the student profile according to field of study, age, gender and parents' occupation and, on the other, of the trends in demand.

A description is also given of the credit pass/completion rate, the exam pass rate and the drop-out rate according to field of study. The study enables a discipline-based comparison to be made and also shows the trend in the pre-Bologna and post-Bologna data. In order to give a broad as possible overview of programme delivery, data are also provided on mobility, the trend in mobility and, in particular, graduate employment outcomes.

The study lastly provides a general overview of the composition of and changing trends in academic staff (teaching and research) and administrative and service staff.